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Olympic men's basketball: US team survives Lithuania scare, China eliminated from group stage

08-05-2012 09:40 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

LONDON, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The United States men's basketball survived a real test from Lithuania here on Saturday at London Olympics while China and host Britain failed to make into the quarterfinals.

Two days after running and gunning to a record-shattering 83-point vicotry over Nigeria, the US team had to come back in the fourth quarter for a 99-94 win over a fearless Lithuania team that had the Americans in serious trouble until the closing minutes.

LeBron James scored nine of his 20 points in the final four minutes, which had looked nearly invincible in thrashing Nigeria 156-73 on Thursday night and breaking several records.

Carmelo Anthony added 20 points, Kevin Durant 16 and Chris Paul added seven rebounds, six assists and four of the US team's 17 steals.

Linas Kleiza scored a match-high 25 to lead Lithuania, which led by 84-82 with 5 minutes 50 seconds to play. After the US took a three-point lead, Lithuania would not go away and pulled within 87-86 on Darius Songaila's bucket with 4:12 left.

Then James, who already won an NBA MVP title and finals champion, took control of the offense. He knocked down a three-pointer, and after Paul stole the inbounds pass, James passed down the right side and delivered one of his trademark dunks.

James followed with a left-handed layup, which gave the US a 97-88 lead and kept the team unbeaten.

Today's matches also saw China and host Britain fail to reach the quarterfinals. China lost to Brazil 59-98 Britain was beaten 75-106 by Australia.

Brazil handed China their 4th consecutive loss. Entering the game as the favorites, Brazil wasted no time as they started the game with a 9-2 run and made it 14-4 just inside the last three minutes of the first quarter. Trailing by 21-42 at halftime, China could not stop Brazil from an 11-3 run and only saw the second half a garbage time.

Patrick Mills scored 39 points and Australia secured a berth in playoffs with a 106-75 victory over host Britain. Britain will play China on Monday, in which both winless team will fight for glory.

In Saturday's other matches, Tony Parker scored 22 points to lead France past Tunisia 73-69. Timofey Mozgov made the tiebreaking dunk with 18 seconds left, Vitaliy Fridzon scored 24 points and unbeaten Russia edged Spain 77-74. Argentina beat Nigeria 93-79 for its third group match win.



Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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